Wheat Belly’s Dr. William Davis gets slammed like he’s in the Japan-expat blogging community.

I have been reading for commentary about the book, Wheat Belly, when I came across this critic.

The writer seems to feel that Dr. Davis is hyperbolic in some of the claims that he sets out in his book. OK, fine. But then, there is a battery of comments that seem to go more to Dr. Davis as a physician than Dr. Davis as a writer.

I know the point of the critic was to put her own bucket of water on some of the hot topics Davis had in Wheat Belly, and criticize certain anecdotes and points that she felt were wrong. But by the time I read through the gratuitous cheap shots that were leveled in the comment section, I was more sympathetic to Dr. Davis as a person, and more willing to overlook any “mistakes” that may be in the book.

There is some lady going around, on websites that have the book as a topic, to say that Dr. Davis is claiming that people lose a pound a day when they don’t eat wheat. From what I’ve read on the Wheat Belly Blog, though, is the claim is that people will not feel as hungry, and not consume 440 calories (as an average) per day. This will result in weight loss of about half-a-pound a week. Nowhere can I find this counterclaim about “lose a pound a day”.

It may be that, in the first day or two, people lose a pound. This might have to do with water? Inflammation?

For other reasons–not having to do with Wheat Belly or Dr. Davis—I cut back on eating gluten products. (Gluten is the protein an amino acid in wheat.) This was maybe mid-March. Now it’s June, and I am somewhere between 9 and 12 pounds down from where I was. Basically, a weight I hadn’t been at since my early days in Japan.

The theory that wheat is causing a lot of troubles in the American diet is one worth looking at. It’s an important message.

It’s a shame that contemporary writers on the internet don’t make the effort to be civil about things they disagree with. Yes, there are people who use the internet to spread things that simply aren’t true. But a lot of it is other people just using the internet.

Seventy years ago, church was an important part of American life. There, you the message about the right ways to treat other people. Nowadays, television dominates. In particular, political advertising and countless shows that involve some kind of yelling, fighting or bickering. I really think that people take these themes with them as they move from television watching to online surfing.

[Update 9/4/12: This weight loss is now 30 pounds.]

[Update 9/10/12: This entry gets its share of hits, so I should also include a mention about gluten, gliadin, and Amylopectin-A.

I originally cut back on wheat because of family allergies and the fact that some relatives are affected by gluten. Medicine generally calls this “Celiac disease”, but some contemporary thinking says that we are all at some stage of Celiac. Just how some people smoke and get lung cancer, but not everyone. The ones who don’t are simply at “elevated risk”.

Only when I started searching online for wheat and weight loss, did I discover Dr. Davis’ work. Learning more about how this contemporary, hybrid semi-dwarf wheat affects some people really sealed it for me. Plus, the simple fact that it wasn’t a big part of diet until recently in the last century (20th century). I know, in Japan, people don’t each as much wheat. They eat rice. So I know you don’t need wheat to survive, and nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t eat it. You just have to make sure you get the proper nutrients from other food.

Why are people losing all of this weight? No one really knows. What is present are the theories that these other amino acids cause appetite stimulation, and mess with blood sugar levels. There would have to be more research done—as is routinely done with food and diet—to pin down exactly what causes what. They are doing that right now with sugar, notably Dr. Robert Lustig at UCal San Francisco. But for me, I am safe with just avoiding wheat products, and am also learning to moderate sugar. I don’t need years of hard science. After all, the sellers of things like wheat and sugar don’t offer you much more than, “Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tastykake”, or “Have a Coke and a smile!” That’s not exactly hard science. That’s advertising. Somehow, though, that sort of statement is OK, but the one that suggests a metabolic smoking gun is bad? Please.]

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